Mega-Sporting Events

White Paper 3.2 Broadcasters and Human Rights in the Sports Context

31 January 2017

With reference to the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, this White Paper explains the relationship between broadcasters and mega-sporting events (MSEs), identifies where human rights issues might arise, and discusses potential mechanisms which could be used – and in some cases already are being used – to address them.

Broadcasting plays an important role in MSEs. It is the conduit through which a global audience accesses such events. Opinions differ on the role broadcasters should take when faced with broadcasting events which take place in challenging human rights contexts. Some argue that broadcasters should use this role to raise awareness of human rights issues in the host country. Others say that broadcasting the events is a tacit endorsement of local Governments whose policies may have an adverse impact on local communities. There is also a view that broadcasting MSEs allows local athletes to reach a global audience and exercise their human right to sporting activity.

 

This White Paper is one of 11 papers published in January 2017 as part of the Sporting Chance White Paper series. The series aims to present the latest thinking, practice, and debate in relation to key human rights issues involved in the planning, construction, delivery, and legacy of mega-sporting events (MSEs). Each paper also considers the case for, and potential role of, an independent centre of expertise on MSEs and human rights. Each White Paper has been published as “Version 1” and the MSE Platform would welcome comments, input, and expressions of support with regard to future iterations or research on this and other topics.

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